As we inch closer to opening day of the NFL season, we want to get you prepared for your fantasy football drafts. That process begins with our team previews, where we’ll break down each team’s offense while providing players we’re targeting and, in some cases, avoiding.
Ravens Fantasy Football Team Preview
Head Coach: John Harbaugh (16th season as Ravens HC)
Offensive Coordinator: Todd Monken (first season as Ravens OC)
Key Offensive Additions:
Key Offensive Departures:
- OG Ben Powers
Key Offensive Rookies
- WR Zay Flowers — first-round draft pick
Points Per Game: 20.6 (19th)
Passing Yards: 178.8 (28th)
Rushing Yards: 160.0 (second)
Vacated Targets: 172 (10th)
Pass: 55 percent Run: 45 percent
OL Rank: fifth
Lamar Jackson was the NFL MVP in 2019, behind 1,206 yards on the ground — the most in history for a quarterback — and 43 total touchdowns in just 15 games. That’s the ceiling for Jackson in fantasy. And that’s why he’s consistently been a top-four quarterback in fantasy drafts for years.
The downside is that Jackson has missed five games in the last two years and has only exceeded 3,000 yards passing in a season once: during his MVP campaign, where he had just 3,127. To this point, Jackson’s production has been reliant on touchdowns and his historic talent as a runner. Each of Jackson’s injuries happened while he was in the pocket, and he doesn’t take as much contact as Josh Allen. Still, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Baltimore wanted to reduce Jackson’s volume as a runner, given how much time he’s missed.
Jackson is one of the few quarterbacks in the league who can carry an offense, and he’s arguably the greatest rushing quarterback ever. He’s spent his entire NFL career with a below-average group of wide receivers. That changes this year; he’ll enter this season with the best and most complete group of pass catchers he’s ever had. He’ll also have a new, pass-centric offensive coordinator in Todd Monken.
Many seem to forget that Jackson won the 2019 MVP in his first season as a full-time starter with Greg Roman as his offensive coordinator. There’s a lot new to the Ravens' offense this season. There’s a new play caller and three new wide receivers who will each see significant playing time. Those changes could very well be a positive, but they also create more variance in the short term, especially for a player such as Jackson, who has never been a voluminous passer.
We’ve already seen Jackson succeed in this type of environment. But keep in mind that Jackson may have the widest range of outcomes of any quarterback in the league this year. His ceiling is the NFL MVP and the top fantasy quarterback this season. But there’s also a very real possibility that Jackson starts slow and runs less in Baltimore’s new, more aggressive offense. Jackson could end up outscoring Allen and Patrick Mahomes, but they are safer bets.
It’s highly unclear if J.K. Dobbins is currently injured or protesting his contract by missing training camp. If it’s the former, he’s a terrifying fantasy selection after tearing his ACL roughly 24 months ago. If it’s the latter, the issue should get resolved in the coming weeks, and he’s unlikely to miss any time. Dobbins has averaged at least 5.7 yards per carry in both of his NFL seasons, and he’s an explosive and dynamic athlete with the ball in his hands. He would be a high-end RB2 for fantasy if we knew he’d get 12-15 carries per game with a sprinkle of pass-catching in this new-look Ravens offense.
Behind him, Gus Edwards is similarly efficient, with 5.2 yards per carry in his 501 career carries. Edwards is a zero in the passing game, so he’ll never be more than a touchdown-dependent flex play in fantasy.
Melvin Gordon was cut by the Broncos after 10 games in 2022 and didn’t return to NFL action. He’ll be back in the league after recently signing a one-year contract with Baltimore, but there’s a good chance he never touches the football as a Raven if Dobbins is healthy. However, among this backfield, Gordon is the only one who has demonstrated he can be an every-down back in the NFL.
Justice Hill is a scat back who has never tallied more than 320 total yards in any NFL season. While his skill set theoretically fits well in a pass-heavy offense, his multiyear track record of low usage suggests he’ll never be relied upon in a fantasy-relevant role.
If Dobbins is purely waiting for a new contract, this looks like a complete running back room, where Dobbins and Edwards handle the bulk of the carries, with Hill and/or Gordon mixing in on third downs. If Dobbins’ knee isn’t fully healed, this team will certainly sign another veteran back as insurance.
Wide Receivers and Tight Ends
The Ravens will prioritize a more pass-heavy approach under Monken while adding Odell Beckham Jr., Nelson Agholor and Zay Flowers. In three wide receiver sets, we can expect Beckham, Flowers and Rashod Bateman (when he's back from injury) to form a diverse trio of players. Until we know more about Bateman's injury, Flowers is the player Jordan Vanek anticipates having a higher target share than most expect, thanks to his quick separation skills and ability to handle slot snaps. Beckham will likely play a crucial role in the red zone and in finishing drives, similar to his time with the Los Angeles Rams.
Mark Andrews will remain a top-five tight end in fantasy football, but he enters this season with the most target competition he’s had as a Raven. His current draft position may be overvalued compared with other talented tight ends available later. Andrews is going a full round ahead of T.J. Hockenson and at least two full rounds over Darren Waller. Vanek prefers both Hockenson and Waller over Andrews at current costs.
The other player to mention is backup tight end Isaiah Likely. He flashed his talent last season and is worth stashing in tight end premium and deep leagues.
Ian Miller: Buy Mark Andrews (TE2)
No other tight end in NFL history has had a higher target share than Andrews in his third, fourth and fifth seasons. While the Ravens’ offense will likely shift to more three wide receiver sets, he’s been the target hog for the past three seasons and the best receiver on the field. TE1 overall is still well within his range of outcomes, with the offense gearing to throw the ball more.
Ravens We’re Targeting or Avoiding in Fantasy Football
Josh Larky: Target Jackson, Flowers; avoid Dobbins (if he’s injured)
Ryan Reynolds: Target Jackson.
Jordan Vanek: Target Flowers; avoid Andrews
Other Fantasy Previews
Follow our team on Twitter:
Josh Larky: @JLarkyTweets
Ryan Reynolds: @RyanReynoldsNFL
Jordan Vanek: @JordanVanekDFS
Ian Miller: @Dynasty_IM